Wild Abandon

Rock You Like a Hurricane

Chapter 25

Having retrieved a second segment of the Rod of Seven Parts, the Black Antlers come face-to-face once again with the Prince of Demons, Demogorgon.

As the titan drops the shattered remains of the Hurricane Queen's vessel and begins moving towards the Mind Flyer, the party rushes to prepare themselves. Elspeth is horrified, having been injured and unconscious the last time they encountered the demon, pointing out that they'll never be able to outrun that thing. Pleedleplop clenches his fist and says that he has no intention of running. Sporp, who was also below deck last time, climbs up onto Krog's shoulder and expressed how incredibly excited he is at the possibility of riding on top of such an enormous creature. The new recruits, Osana Greentide and Torutori are just sort of dumbstruck with a mix of awe and terror.

Meanwhile, Saladesh comes up onto deck, his mummy wrappings badly hidden under ill-fitting pirate clothes, and tells the party that if they were to call to Euroclydon with the new Rod piece, he would come, and they could use the S.A.I.L.S. to escape. They just need to keep their foe at bay until the ritual is complete.

Rorik Law rushes to the helm and gets the ship floating, reassuring a horrified Breezy that they'll get through this. Jimothy Jones relishes in the chance to battle a demon of such power, while Nylah Ventus curses Beshaba for even more bad luck, though Wave assures her that to kill a creature like this is just what they need to convince "all the fish in the sea" of Diancastra's power. She turns to the statue of the goddess they recovered from the sunken ruins and asks for her aid, receiving a boon of protection in return. Mye-kuhl Jancer orders the crew to get the disco ball going, and starts dancing on the deck with the Rod piece raised towards the heavens.

The hurricane's eyewall breaks as the storm clouds begin rushing towards the Mind Flyer. Rain begins pouring as a lightning flash reveals Demogorgon closing the distance. Jimothy summons the miraculously still-living Megalodonald back to him. The goliath lifts the massive shark, and with a mighty heave, tosses it overboard towards the demon prince below. It grabs ahold of Demogorgon's face bigly with its jaws, but is torn in two by the creature's tentacles, lamenting that someone would be so "unfair" to him.

"FOOLS! YOU FACE DEMOGORGON, THE PRINCE… OF DEMONS! I SHALL CRACK OPEN YOUR PITIFUL WORLD LIKE AN EGG, AND SUCK OUT THE SOUL!"

The distraction is just enough to give Nylah the chance to tie a rope around herself, and get Krog and Elspeth to hang her over the side of the ship. She calls down to Demogorgon, "WE ALREADY KNOW, YOU BIG HAM!" and blasts him with a geyser from Wave, spritzing him in the face like a naughty pet. The Prince of Demons is so thrown off by this that he goes crashing into the sea again, his belly up. Algernon starts to laugh. Pleedleplop lets out a roar and leaps over the side, coming down on Demogorgon's exposed chest with a flurry of blows.

"This is for Slooblidoop!

This is for Roland!

THIS IS FOR THE SEA MOTHER!"

Jimothy, reading this "fishious fury" as 'We're doing this', follows suite and elbow-drops the Prince of Demons. It isn't very effective, but Pleedleplop turns and gives a supportive thumbs up.

"Eh, um… good job, my friend!"

Krog, not one to let Jimothy outshine him, pulls Nylah back onto deck and tells her to "watch this", jumping with his axe raised towards the demon lord, Sporp still perched on his shoulder. He totally botches it though, his foot catching on the railing and sending the orc-giant toppling into the ocean instead, his myconid passenger landing on the demon's chest!

Jancer curses and hands the channeling Rod segment to Elspeth. The half-elf runs to the side, leveling the Wand of Wonder at Demogorgon. As the wand begins spinning and whirring, three lightning bolts suddenly strike the tip, charging the whole thing with electricity, which the necrodancer blasts at their foe! The lightning crackles across the prince's body, but Jancer quickly realizes that the demon has resisted most of the damage.

Demogorgon swats Pleedleplop away with a tentacle, sending the kuo-toa sailing through the air before crashing into the ocean. The demon stands and lets out a hideous double-laugh that shakes Jimothy to his core as he grabs ahold of a clump of fur, now hanging from Demogorgon's chest. The Prince of Demons wraps his other tentacle around the front of the levitating Mind Flyer and angles the deck down towards his faces.

Rorik, who is in the pilot seat, feels the damage done to the ship wracking his own mind as the tentacle begins crushing the fore. He tries to overcome it, but fails horribly, and then… forgets everything that has happened before this. The only thing he knows is that he is Rorik Law, flying boat. But what is happening? Who are all these people on top of him? What is the giant thing holding onto his nose?

Nylah tells Algernon to fly away to safety (something the bronze dragon begins doing before she even finishes her sentence) and fires an arrow from her Resounding Harp-Bow into one of Demogorgon's eyes, but the beast barely seems to notice it.

Jimothy, spotting Sporp hanging on for dear life several yards above him, begins climbing. The paladin craddles the myconid against his chest and tells him to hang on as he leaps into the open air. Peter the Griffon suddenly swoops in and catches both of them!

Demogorgon uses his hypnotic gaze on Krog and commands the frost giant to stop them. Krog leaps from the water and grabs Peter's back legs, causing the griffon to slow and begin losing altitude due to the weight. Meanwhile, the tentacle continues squeezing down upon the front of the party's ship.

Thus, Rorik, knowing only that he is a boat and that this large creature is causing his "body" harm, goes full throttle forward, smashing the Mind Flyer into Demogorgon's heads!

The Sporp-shaped ram breaks off, and the front of the ship crumples like a can, sending everyone aboard stumbling from the impact. Elspeth drops the Rod piece as she is thrown off her feet, but Jancer catches it before it can fall overboard with the help of Saladesh's wind powers, while Nylah catches Elspeth herself. The half-elf hustles up to a safe (relatively speaking, of course) spot and continues calling Euroclydon to them.

Rorik is knocked unconscious by the damage and tumbles from the seat as Demogorgon tosses the ship into the water. The demon raises its tentacles to smash the impudent vessel, but a powerful wave of water crashes into him and the ship as Pleedleplop uses his monk abilities to manipulate a sea current. The Prince of Demons is forced to brace himself, while the Mind Flyer FLIPS OVER! The mast snaps and everyone aboard is tossed into the ocean!

Meanwhile, Jimothy warns the hypnotized Krog to let go. The frost giant refuses, saying that he won't be bested by some upstart goliath again! Jimothy proves him wrong by swinging his Macuahuitl of Sharpness and instantly slicing off one of the giant's hands. Krog lets out a roar and breaths ice cold breath onto the griffon and riders in retaliation, but Jimothy isn't dissuaded as he begins hacking at Krog's other wrist. The frost giant loses his grip and falls back into the ocean, allowing Peter to escape.

The griffon catches up to Algernon, who decides to sit on Peter's head and rest instead of expending his own energy. Jimothy downs some potions of healing given to him by Jancer, and tells Sporp that he is going to drop him off back at the ship. The myconid points out that it is flipped over.

"Son of bitch."

Nylah rescues Elspeth (who is sinking like a stone), and gets her onto the upward-facing hull of the ship. She gives the dwarf mouth-to-mouth (even though she doesn't need it), before diving back into the water. Breezy grabs Rorik, casts 'Fly' on herself, and pulls the unconscious eldritch knight out before he drowns. Elspeth uses Lay on Hands to heal him, using her best Jimothy impression as she says "You are healed" (which she is convinced is an integral part of the healing process).

Jancer uses his Cloak of the Manta Ray to deftly gather up Osana and Torutori, and deposit them up top as well. Overhead, he is glad to see that Saladesh appears to have gotten the Rod piece, and is holding it aloft while levitating on a mistral—the mummy tells his "master" that the ritual is nearly complete. Jancer is glad to hear it, and tells everyone to prepare themselves, as he is going to dive back down, hop into the pilot seat, and begin righting the ship, but not before animating three dead sharks floating on the surface of the sea (killed alongside hundreds of other fish by the volcanic eruption earlier), and ordering them to attack Demogorgon!

The conscious but still amnesiac Rorik, suddenly finding that he is a human and not a boat, leaps onto the back of one of Jancer's zombie sharks and decides to toss an acid-infused 'Chromatic Orb' at the colossal beast looming over them. Demogorgon roars in pain as the acid burns him, and he does NOT resist! One huge tentacle attack later, and Rorik is knocked back into the water. This time however, he's dead.

Wave begins singing excitedly as Nylah swims up between Demogorgon's massive, scaly legs (which are being snapped at by Jancer's zombie sharks). The trident is thrilled and tells the tiefling to strike true and prove the power of her goddess! She thrusts forward, and stabs into three of the four testicles hanging before her, filling the water with boiling ichor. Wave sighs,

"First you shove me up a hydra's asshole, and now this…"

Jancer sits in the pilot's seat and spies Rorik's corpse sinking, and orders one of his sharks to take the human back to the surface. In no time, the necrodancer is able to get the ship right side up once again. Jimothy flies in, drops Sporp and Algernon off, and gets a quick round of healing from Elspeth before quickly shooting vertically up into the clouds, past Saladesh.

A moment later, the party hear a yell and look up to see a ball of radiant energy streaking out of the sky towards Demogorgon. Jimothy swings his Mace of Disruption, channeling all of Ilmater's glory into his attack, and with a flash and a thunderclap that rings across the heavens, reduces one of the Prince of Demon's eyeballs into a bloody pulp.

Demogorgon lets out an unearthly roar that fills those assembled on the ship with supernatural fear, sending them reeling to the back of the ship, where they huddle in terror behind Jancer. The demon lord uses 'Feeblemind' on the, admittedly, already mentally-challenged Jimothy Jones, and turns the goliath into little more than an animal, driven only by base instinct. Fortunately for the paladin, his base instinct is to SMITE EVIL. Unfortunately for him however, that doesn't stop Demogorgon's tentacle from batting him off and sending him crashing (with impressive accuracy) down the stairs of the Mind Flyer.

Below the surface, Nylah tries to swim away after having pierced the monstrous testes, but finds herself caught up in the fiendish pubic hair! She spots large abyssal parasites emerging from the matted nest of fur and crawling hungrily towards her, but is pulled loose by Pleedleplop before they can reach her! Demogorgon's tail swings through the water and hits both of them though, and the kuo-toa passes out from his wounds, forcing Nylah to carry him the rest of the way. She also gets the now-handless Krog to climb back aboard with him carrying her.

Seeing that everyone is aboard once again, Jancer commands the Mind Flyer to rise up beneath Saladesh, getting the mummy back on the deck as the last bits of Euroclydon are drawn in by the Rod. Jancer grabs the elemental-infused segment with his 'Mage Hand' and pulls it over to himself. All the party needs to do is order Euroclydon into the S.A.I.L.S., and they can escape! But Jancer looks at their foe and is convinced that they can end this here and now… they can KILL DEMOGORGON.

Their foe is in no mood to humor them however, and wraps his tendrils around the Mind Flyer. Nylah tries using 'Suggestion' to get the demon to release them (protected from magical retaliation by Diancastra's boon) and Sporp COMMANDS him to do the same, but to no avail, as the wood of the vessel begins snapping beneath Demogorgon's strength. Jancer is killed by the psychic backlash his mind takes as the ship is suddenly and violently torn in half!

The last thing the necrodancer sees is Bonesley falling out of the shattered fore-section, making a heart with his bony fingers before landing in the churning sea below. The aft of the Mind Flyer (where all the crew are, thankfully) splashes into the ocean as well, while Demogorgon uses the fore like a hammer to destroy Jancer's zombie sharks. The demon lord lets out a triumphant roar as he raises his tentacles to SMASH his prey to the sea floor once and for all!

Suddenly, Breezy overcomes her fear. The sorceress climbs into the pilot's seat, and activates the newly-powered S.A.I.L.S., sending what remains of the Mind Flyer rocketing away just as Demogorgon's tendrils descend with deadly force. The Prince of Demons howls with fury as the Black Antlers disappear from view, having eluded his grasp… for now.

The following day, they are found adrift on the sinking remains of their vessel by the Master of Gales. Nylah had cast 'Revivify' on Rorik (who's amnesia has passed) and Jancer in the mean time, and they are all brought aboard, tired, sunburnt, and with only Nylah's magically-created food filling their bellies.

The Master of Gales inquires about what happened to the hurricane he and his cult worship, and the party reveal that Euroclydon now serves them. They also tell him that the Hurricane Queen is dead, and that they battled Demogorgon, the Prince of Demons. The druid pirate is astounded, utterly speechless. His crew kneel as he draws a sword and begins approaching the surrounded party. Jancer thinks, "Oh no, baby, he's gonna finish us off!"

But NOT SO, in fact, the Master of Gales knights Jancer, Jimothy, Nylah, and Rorik, and dubs each of them masters of the Archlight, rulers of Kalfsgate and Corpsepickers' Lagoon, and heirs to the Hurricane Crown!!

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